64% Liberians Live In Abject Poverty-National Human Development Report Finds


M. Welemongai Ciapha II
Source: FrontPage Africa

As the Government of Liberia (GOL), is grappling to cope with the hard economic reality to achieve its goals and objectives in implementing the Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS), a report of the National Human Development (NHD) on Liberia’s progress of the PRS, has revealed that 64% of Liberia’s 1.3 million people are still living below the poverty line.

The 2010 Report was launched over the weekend by the Government of Liberia (GOL) in collaboration with the United Nations Development Progamme (UNDP).

This means that of the 1.3 million people in the country, 64% of the population cannot even afford US 1.00 a day to feed their families. Despite the vast natural resources as well as the proliferation of companies operating in Liberia, many Liberians have become potential beggars on the streets of Monrovia.

The 2010 Report was launched over the weekend by the Government of Liberia (GOL) in collaboration with the United Nations Development Progamme (UNDP).

The ceremony which took place at the Monrovia City Hall, was also characterized by poor attendance of Government officials, but well attended by students from the various schools.

The Report highlighted that other indicators are grim reflecting the country’s legacy of destruction, population displacement, and disruption of basic services as a result of the 14 years of bloodbath.

Speaking on behalf of the UN family at the launch of the Report, Mr. Muostahpa Soumare’, Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the UNMIL said, the 2010 report on Liberia’s achievements towards meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s) shows some positive progress.

Mr. Soumare’ stressed that there are many critical challenges that frustrate the sizeable changes and reforms that Liberia needs, which he noted are not obvious to the human eye.

In spite of the positive recognition of Liberia’s efforts toward achieving MDG Three, Mr. Soumare’ noted that maternal mortality figures remain a major concern.

The UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General observed that two such challenges provide the focus for Liberia’s 2009/2010 NHD Report, under the theme, “Shared Growth with Special Emphasis on Infrastructure and Agriculture”.

After careful scrutiny of the Report, Mr. Soumare’ asserted that the absence of rural and urban infrastructure have hampered development in the country, adding, ‘it is disheartening to hear stories of food and goods rotting by the road-side, instead of making it to the market, because of the conditions of roads’.

From his own observation of some of the deplorable roads in rural parts of the country, such as Lofa, Nimba and the southeast, Mr. Suomare’ expressed disappointment, due to the economically costly nature of traveling by road.

Recognizing how conclusive development can be achieved in Liberia, Mr. Suomare’ disclosed that this can only be done by equitable distribution of the resources and a shared civic responsibility to address the many challenges facing the country.

“These reports underline the need for a joint effort and investment from the local communities, the private sector and Government, and further commitment and support from development partners,” Mr. Soumare’ observed.

However, Mr. Sando Wayne, who spoke on behalf of the Vice President of Liberia, Hon. Joseph N. Boakai, described the launch as a history making for Liberia.

In 2008, Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-Information Services (LISGIS), conducted the Housing and Population Census, which showed that Liberia has a population of 3.5 million people.

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